Teens to remain in adult prison as part of homicide cases

Aimee Ambrose
York Dispatch

Two York City teens, charged in separate homicide cases, will stay put at York County Prison for at least another month while the county works under new federal requirements for holding young suspects in adult facilities.

Javion Roman, 17, and Alexis Cado-Suero, 16, were each ordered to remain in custody during hearings in a York County Court of Common Pleas on Monday. Both returned to court around the 30-day mark for judges to review the reasons for keeping the teens at the prison.

Javion Roman

Roman is  charged with first- and third-degree murder, two misdemeanor counts of reckless endangerment and counts of carrying a firearm without a license and possession of a firearm as a minor. He’s accused of shooting and killing Malaki Beady, 17, at Penn Park on March 23.

Alexis Cado-Suero

Cado-Suero, meanwhile, is charged with first- and third-degree murder, as well as possession of a firearm by a minor in connection with the shooting death of 16-year-old Tyree Smart in the 300 block of West Newton Avenue in March 2021.

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Their hearings were held under a federal act that took effect in December, which states that juveniles charged as adults can’t be held in adult facilities unless courts find such detentions are in the interest of justice. They have to meet several criteria, including the youths’ maturity levels, the severity of the charges and access to juvenile detention centers.

Courts that decide to keep juveniles in adult jails then have to hold hearings once a month to continuously review the issue. And minors can’t be held more than six months unless courts find reasons to extend the detention.

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Monday’s hearings were the latest in the series of these hearings for Roman and Cado-Suero, coming after Judge Maria Musti Cook first decided April 25 to keep both boys at the prison.

She extended their holds again, finding their situations hadn’t changed in a month. The main factors included community safety,  York County's lack of a juvenile detention facility and that centers in other counties don’t have space available to house Roman and Cado-Suero.

Roman is also considered at risk of retaliation if released, attorneys argued.

“We do not believe it would be in anyone’s best interest to release him,” Cook said.

She set the next hearings on the detention issue for June 27.

Luis Antonio Rosado, known as "Rondo"

A similar hearing was held May 13 for a third teen, 17-year-old Luis Rosado, who faces murder charges related to a June 2020 shooting.

Roman also was formally arraigned into the Common Pleas system on  new charges in his case. His arraignment was initially set for Wednesday, but it was bumped up since he was already in court for the detention issue.

He and Cado-Suero are   pursuing arguments to move their cases into the juvenile system.

Roman’s attorney, Bill Graff, filed a petition May 8 to transfer the case, court documents show, and is working to schedule a court-appointed doctor to perform a mental health evaluation.

In Cado-Suero’s case, Chief Deputy Prosecutor Stephanie Lombardo said a doctor for the defense recommended moving the case to juvenile court. The York County District Attorney’s Office is now waiting to get a second opinion from a doctor on the prosecution’s behalf.

— Reach Aimee Ambrose at aambrose@yorkdispatch.com or on Twitter at @aimee_TYD.